KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — The Sudanese military confirmed Wednesday that it had found the body of a French soldier killed on the border with Chad.
France said Tuesday that the soldier was reported missing after he and another member of its special forces strayed into Sudan from Chad and were fired upon Monday by Sudanese soldiers. The two were part of a European peacekeeping force assigned to Chad and the neighboring Central African Republic to protect displaced people and aid workers on the borders of the Darfur region of Sudan. Sudan had not welcomed the force.
The Sudanese Foreign Ministry said that the French Foreign Ministry had apologized for the incident and requested help in finding the body.
“After the apology and upon request of the French government, our forces engaged in a search and found the body of the soldier” in Sudan, Brig. Gen. Osman Mohammad al-Aghbash, a Sudanese Army spokesman, said in a statement released by Sudan’s official news agency. The remains were being transported to Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, to be turned over to French authorities, the statement said.
General Aghbash said four civilians trying to carry the body were killed when one of the soldier’s grenades detonated.
A spokesman for the peacekeeping mission, Lt. Col. Philippe de Cussac, said he could not confirm that the body was that of the missing French soldier. “Until we have done our official and formal identification, I cannot confirm anything,” he said.
He said people who knew the missing soldier would be flown to Khartoum, probably on Thursday, to identify the body.
Hervé Morin, the French defense minister, said Tuesday that two soldiers had crossed the border inadvertently and had been fired upon at close range, apparently by Sudanese soldiers. The other French soldier had light burns, Mr. Morin said.
French soldiers searching for the missing soldier were fired upon and fired back, he said.
The Sudanese news media reported that a Sudanese soldier had been killed, and France’s ambassador to Sudan had been summoned by the government to explain.
May he Rest In Peace.Hope all other personnel stay safe.